VANILLA PIZZELLE (OR CIALDE SOTTILI ALLA VANIGLIA) - A DELICATE AND DELICIOUS TREAT ! - Updated


    This particular concept of Pizzelle (pronounced Peet-zehl-leh) is actually something that I was not familiar with while growing up in Italy and that I experienced for the first time in the United States. 
 Somehow this delicacy carries the Italian name that is typically used in Naples to identify small fried rounds of pizza. So you can imagine my surprise, when I was offered this kind of pizzelle the first time, thinking I was going to have pizza, and had to prepare myself to the idea of having dessert instead!
However, since that first tasting experience of 24 years ago, Pizzelle (as a dessert) have become part of my Italian-American family traditions, and every time we make them, we can never get enough. 
    Since making them requires a Pizzelle press (or a so-called pizzelle iron), unfortunately we had to do without them for quite some time because the press we had inherited from my husband's nonna had been used for over 50 years with regular flour, and we just did not feel comfortable taking a chance and risking cross-contamination. Thankfully, because they are mostly a Christmas Holiday celebratory delight, this year brought us the wonderful gift of a new press that of course we could not wait to use.
    After posting a couple of pictures of our creations on various media platforms (we even made cannoli for which you can find the recipe here) and while receiving extremely enthusiastic requests for the recipe, we decided to test them one more time so that it would be stress-free and infallible; and I am so excited to finally be able to share it with you all. 
    Let me know how yours come out, and always feel free to post comments here and to share your pictures on our Stressfree Glutenfree and Friends page on Facebook.

VANILLA PIZZELLE 
(OR CIALDE SOTTILI ALLA VANIGLIA) 
(Makes 30 Pizzelle - Press or iron needed)
Ingredients:
  • 3 lg eggs (I personally love to use organic and cage free eggs)
  • 1-3/4  cups of your favorite GF multipurpose flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 8 tbsp (or 1 stick) of unsalted melted butter - Melt it on low heat in a pan and let it cool (*)
  • 3/4 cups of GF sugar (in the raw, cane or white sugar all work very well)
  • 1 tsp GF pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp GF dry ground ginger
  • a pinch of salt
Optional: 
-  Add 1 tsp of anisette liqueur in the mix (for a more traditional taste), 
- 3 tbs of cocoa powder/1 tbs of cinnamon powder/or any other dry GF ingredient you may like to give them a different flavor

Let's get mixing...

  • Preheat the press in the closed position according to the instructions it came with. Many Pizzelle makers have more than one baking setting, and some have a green light to let you know they have reached the right temperature 
  • A good idea is to have a timer handy. We set our timer on 1 min 25 sec. for each set of pizzelle
  • In a small bowl lightly incorporate the flour and the baking powder, and set aside
  • Melt the butter (*) and set aside to cool
  • Using a hand mixer, beat the eggs and the sugar in a medium bowl for one minute or until the sugar has been fully incorporated (Under-mixing the sugar may result in a sandy texture once the Pizzelle have hardened) 
  • While mixing on low, gradually add the vanilla (or anisette) and the melted butter
  • Continue mixing until everything is incorporated (approx. 15-20 seconds)
  • Add the flour, baking powder, dry ground ginger  and any additional dry flavorings, and mix on low for 15 seconds (Do not over-mix... The texture needs to look more like a dense mixture, rather than a runny one - See pic above)
  • When the light indicator turns green, use the measuring scoop that the press should have come with (or a tablespoon) to set two scoops of dough in the middle of each circle
  • Close the press, and start the timer as per above
  • After 1 min and 25 seconds (the first ones always take a little bit longer to cook), open the press and carefully remove the pizzelle with tongs 
  • The rounds do not need to look perfect, but you can always trim the edges with scissors or a sharp knife as soon as they come off the press. (I am perfectly ok with a rustic look...)
  • Set on a flat surface to cool (only stack them once they have totally cooled off, or they will stick to one another)
  • If you are planning on rolling them into cannoli shells, make sure you do so as soon as they come off the press. You can find the detailed directions for the Cannoli here.
  • Keep baking the pizzelle until you finish the dough
  • Serve at room temperature with a dusting of GF powdered sugar, and enjoy for breakfast, as a dessert or a tea-time treat
  • Store in a tight container for future consumption
                                                                          BUON APPETITO!
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